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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Spring 2003 arrowNew York: Transfer of Ownership of the Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant
New York: Transfer of Ownership of the Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant

Agency: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

As reported in the Spring and Fall 2002 Case Digests, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted the surrendered license for a private historic hydroelectric plant before an agreement could be reached on the treatment of the property.

The plant, listed in the National Register for exemplary significance in the fields of industry, architecture, and engineering, may be the only remaining pre-1900 facility with its original equipment intact. Its fate is still being considered.

In fall 2002, after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied the ACHP’s request for a rehearing of FERC’s order accepting the surrendered license for the National Register-listed Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant, the ACHP filed a request that FERC reconsider the denial.

Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant, New York



Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant, Mechanicville, NY (photo courtesy of Fourth Branch Associates and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation)


In December 2002, FERC held a technical conference to consider alternatives to filling the hydroelectric plant’s forebay and tailrace water passages with concrete to maintain and improve the structural stability of the powerhouse.

In February 2003, FERC submitted an agreement to the ACHP and the New York State Historic Preservation Officer that called for recordation of the historic property. Both agencies declined to sign the agreement, and in March 2003, FERC denied the ACHP’s request for reconsideration and terminated consultation.

However, through arbitration, the co-licensees for the hydroelectric plant reached a settlement regarding the fate of the project. In the settlement, the licensee that owns the historic property would give the plant and financial support to the other licensee, which would rehabilitate the plant and resume operation.

This development is very encouraging, but FERC must first accept the terms of the settlement. Careful consideration of the proposed rehabilitation and reuse of the hydroelectric plant will begin in April 2003 with a presentation to FERC and the other consulting parties by the licensee or co-licensees. For background information on this case, see the spring and fall 2002 Case Digests at

Staff contact: Laura Henley Dean

Posted August 15, 2003

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